My last entry was more than a month ago. Aside from numerous pending entries about the solo travel across Asia and a few hotel/hostel reviews, I was about to write few more articles on general topics. Late May 2011, I went off to Kota Kinabalu for a short weekend visit and shortly after my return, I was busy with my cousin's engagement. Both stories shall be written separately in future entries.
This year has been challenging and exciting for me. Now that we have passed the mid-year mark, I am confidently in the position to say, "Hey, 2011 will forever be in mind forever!"
Want to know why?
Here is the story...
Since I have dedicated 2011 to be the year for self exploration, one fine day, when an old friend published a photo on his facebook, I decided to join him for a Sunday outing. It was just nearby to my place, so the next early morning, around 4.30 am I packed my stuffs, prepared some sandwiches for the gang and drove out to meet him.
Upon meeting him at the corner of the main road, we head out to the gathering point (so-called lah). It was still early - almost pitch black. The morning was serene and interesting as I had to meet up with a gang of beautiful and cute felines at the home of the owner. He is my friend's friend, who will be leading me, my friend and another person. So, after the Subuh prayer, 4 of us head for THE morning exercise.
It was first time for me to hear Bukit Tabur's name, despite being located less than half an hour drive from my house. I was the slowest compared to the rest of the team. Well, I thought, I am a girl - it was not something comparable to the speed and strength of the men ahead of me. They were nice enough to follow my slow phase; at least they have plenty of time to take photos along the way.
After more than 2 hours and as we reached the top, the view was magical (at least to me). This was indeed one of the most beautiful and breathtaking view I have ever experienced in my life. The track was moderately difficult, but there were times where it could get a bit tricky - especially with the rocks and trees.
Just moment before heading down, while I was trying to get a grip of maneuvering down - my left palm failed me. That second, I realized, "oh my God, I fell." I remember my head was downwards twice before landing on the ground. I could clearly hear my friend calling my name once, or twice, while I was falling.
It was a quick one. Almost instantaneously, my body gave signal to my brain that my right foot was not OK. I was in shocked but still remained focus and kept on telling myself not to get panic. As my friend and few others came to rescue, I kept on saying, "my right leg, my right foot."
The pain was concentrated on the right foot. It was certainly something very, very bad "happening" inside it. In the state of injury shock, my body shivers extensively. I could only tell myself to keep on breathing (and of course praying) in order to ease the pain and shock. My whole body was not only shivering, but numbness started to crawl from the end of the toes and fingers to everywhere throughout my body.
It was not a lucky day for me, but I was indeed in the good hands of God when He sent me a group of great Samaritans who came to help my friends at giving me first aid. Without them, it must have been extremely difficult for me and my friends to continue from there on.
There was nothing much to do except to call-in for rescue team, as I could not even stand up anymore. It might had been a severe sprained ankle or perhaps fractures, but none of us could have guessed at that point of time. While waiting for the rescue team to reach our location, these great individuals had given me comfort and assistance - the ONLY thing I needed the most, to deviate my attention from the excruciating pain I had.
Shortly after my friend had given a call to the police, it was a happy moment to be able to hear the sirens' sound of the rescue, downhill. However, it was not an easy terrain going up and finding us. The rescue team also had taken the same amount of time like I did, to reach me (and all of us). In the couple of hours waiting, I heard a lot. It wasn't until recently I realized how lucky I was. I thought it was just an unfortunate fall. I fell down approximately 10 meters down - almost the same as 3 stories building high.
Once the rescue team reached me, it was so much relief felt. However, journey down was not as simple as throwing me down and into the ambulance directly. I remembered seeing so many individuals in uniforms. In total, including the good Samaritans + my friends, there were more than 20 people; whom, in all determination and great strengths, had gone through (perhaps) the toughest hill descend ever.
They must have gone through (almost) hell, figuring out how to safely carry me down in such treacherous conditions. Mid way, wind and rain had accompanied the rescue effort. None of them said or shown any kind of gesture indicating the actual situation. They kept on saying, "be strong," "just a little bit more," "we are almost there,", etc. At certain point, they had to stop for a while and even asked me to wake up. I guess it was a way to ensure that I was still doing OK, since it was already a long day for me (and them).
There were tough times when I was carried down. Due to the unbearable pain, crying and screaming were inevitable. Reflecting back, I could be proud of myself to be able to keep the crying and screaming to the minimum.
Between the actual fall and the time I was safely brought down to the ground, there were tears, jokes, laughs and most importantly sheer strengths of everyone who had gotten themselves involved with me. By the time I was carried into the ambulance, it was already evening.
When I reached the ER and took a glimpsed at the clock, I saw 6.15pm. It hit me that time that it was a very long day for everyone who had given themselves to help me, since I fell down just slightly after 9am.
The day ended with me being given pain medication (which did not help much, except it made me doze-off for a while) and being pushed into O.R. (operating room) while I cried in tears because of the pain. It was a classic fracture of my right leg's Tibia and Fibia bones. (Stories on my recovery in separate entries)
Throughout the entire ordeal, I have been coaxed, comforted and aided by so many people. I will be forever in debt to everyone who had lent their hands to helping me. Still in search for the names of the people who had rescued me on that Sunday, but here are the ones (who I knew and vividly remember):-
- 2 fire department teams (BOMBA) - still searching the exact brigades
- Jabatan Pertahanan Awam (JPAM)
- Club Shutter (BERNAMA)
- Firdaus Irwan, Poji and Papa Meow.
Picture credits to Fir and Poji.
Papa Meow (led our group); who had written earlier in Malay about 19 Jun 2011 - check out his blog for the entry, titled "Bukit Tabur Malang Tak Berbau"
Members of Bernama's Club Shutter; who had also done a video posted on Youtube, "Bukit Tabur - Antara bahaya dan keindahan"